Michael Johnson Vs. The Undrafted Rookie

October 10th, 2014

michael johnson 0714Joe sure hopes Sunday’s game against Baltimore ends with fans evoking comparisons of Michael Johnson to Simeon Rice, rather than a bowl of black beans and rice.

Starting at left tackle for the Ravens is undrafted rookie James Hurst.

Hurst will be thrust into his third career start, filling in for injured Eugene Monroe. The rookie out of North Carolina wasn’t good last Sunday against the Colts.

So will Johnson step up and earn his fat paycheck?

Lovie Smith advised more than a week ago that Johnson has an ankle issue that likely will trouble him all season, yet Johnson played 80+ snaps in New Orleans and was invisible. If he’s hurt, then why is he on the field so much? Is there not a healthy backup that can get reps and outperform Johnson at times and keep him fresher?

It’s unclear on what’s happening there.

However, Joe assumes Johnson will get plenty of playing time Sunday, and that means he absolutely has to win a majority of the battles again Hurst. And it’s not like Hurst is likely to have a world of help. Ravens left guard Kelechi Osemele also has injury problems, and may not play. The rest of the Ravens’ O-line should have it’s hands full with Gerald McCoy, and hopefully others.

If Johnson can be effective, then the Ravens will have to go into more of a max-protect mode, which will limit their offense. If not, well, then Johnson will leave Bucs fans wondering exactly what Tampa Bay purchased in March, or why it wasn’t prudent to sit Johnson so he has extra time to heal entering the bye week.

26 Responses to “Michael Johnson Vs. The Undrafted Rookie”

  1. Wombat Says:

    I think Rob Johnson could play better at DE than Michael Johnson at the moment. MJ has a bout 30 secs of tape from the Steelers game to hang his hat on so far this season!!! Very, very disappointing!!!

  2. geno714 Says:

    What was Johnson’s excuse last year when he only had 3 sacks?

  3. Name Required Says:

    Stubborn. I don’t even know what his number is. You reserve that lack of knowledge for either a bad DE or a great OG.

  4. OB Says:


    If MJ is playing hurt and is also playing invisible, why is he playing instead of healing? Anyone can play and be invisible. Let’s get him well as fast as we can so he can earn his money and we get the benefit of it.

    You can’t make sense out of nonsense!

  5. Joe Says:


    To be fair, Johnson was playing very hurt against the Steelers and had two sacks. Joe hears you. If his injury is hampering his play, he shouldn’t be on the field. Lovie has stated Johnson’s going to have to play with this bum ankle all season.

    As Andy Benoit hints (see above) Johnson may have a big day. Johnson’s favorite move (?) is going outside of the left tackle. It seems Hurst struggles with that. Something to keep an eye on Sunday.

  6. buc'd Up Says:

    Black beans and rice sounds better than another home loss. I think ill make a batch for the game this Sunday.

  7. NewTampaChris Says:

    If the man is healthy enough to play 80 snaps, then health can’t be an excuse for zero tackles. And he’s not the guy who draws double-teams and makes his teammates better. With those 80 & zero stats, the Bucs can’t be worse off by playing him less — if he’s hurt.

  8. Buccfan37 Says:

    Black beans and brown rice, nutritious, big bowl full, yummy.

  9. Mr sanchez Says:

    Whats wrong with black beans and rice.
    Signed a Spanish guy. lol

  10. dmatt Says:

    Even if Eugene Monroe was available at full strength, Michael Johnson would be a beast against him a ala 2013. He made plays all over the place last year. He had a tip pass, a couple of sacks, and pressured Flacco with several hurry up throws. I haven’t seen the same tenacity and consistency from MJ this year. Could it be he really have a bum ankle n playing at 80%? He seems to give up on plays. I watched JJ Watts last night n this guy gives 110% each play. Make one believes since MJ got a fat paycheck he insist on performing at the bare minimum. I’ll take the 1st,2nd,or 3rd string DE from Seattle over MJ any day. When in the game,they all play 100% and make plays each play. If MJ doesn’t improve soon, my hope is that David or McCoy will call him out on it.

  11. DB55 Says:

    Put in Soloman at least he has heart and a motor.

  12. iamkingsu Says:

    I think johnson shows up Sunday and the rest of the games we play arc north opponents. I’m just worried about the rest of the games we play

  13. Buc1987 Says:


  14. CB Buc Says:

    MJ90 was a huge mistake. An overreach by Lovie trying to re-envision Sapp & Simeon (not even close) 80 invisible snaps last week.

    If he’s injured to the point he can’t contribute, sit him…otherwise, quit with the excuses

  15. tweezydakidd Says:

    johnson is lazy you can tell the way he plays, the only thing he does is run up to the offensive lineman just standing there like a damn fool.

  16. Realbucsfan Says:

    Really you guys. Johnson is pretty good player not great but way better than what we had when Lovie got here. We still got cap space I see nothing wrong with picking him up. The problem on D is the guys not reading the keys in the cover zones (which is getting better) Johnson and McCoy are huge for us right now.

  17. ddneast Says:

    I am sure if the Bucs had a DL better at 100 percent than Johnson was at his say 70 percent he would be starting right now don’t u think. Now name one?

  18. buc4lyfe Says:

    The fact that joe has to ask if Johnson will step up and earn his fat paycheck when facing an undrafted rookie tells me all I need to know

  19. bigpoppabuc Says:

    Put Bowers in for Johnson so he can get healthy. Gholston could use the reps and Solomon is a grinder and pretty quick off the ball. Just don’t see why you would send Johnson out there and risk him getting another injury playing injured. This is frustrating. We need sacks so bad. Its the best cure for an ailing secondary.

  20. Louis Friend Says:

    I’m not going to knock Johnson without knocking every other scrub we’ve got playing AND coaching on defense right now.

    500+ yards 2 times in the last 3 games!!!!

    What else is there to say about how EVERYONE is doing?

    Yes Johnson sucks. So does everyone else on defense. Even the illustrious Mr McCoy (who is awesome IMO) could be playing better.

    If Johnson doesn’t perform to expectations, I’m sure there will be some excuse given. Along with an excuse for everyone else who blows chunks on the field.

  21. GhostofJohnGruden Says:

    A couple of sacks and qb hurries will not do it against the crows. We will need another big day from Glennon. We will need more than first down run, second down run, third and long, punt. It will be up to our franchise quarterback Michael Leroy Glennon.

  22. kevin Says:

    Ghostgruden you got it….run on first every time. Sometimes pass on second…and if it third and short run for sure. OR RUN on first run on second and pass on third. Either way they both result in one 9 yard passing attempt and a punt. That is the bucs offense. Amazingly gennon manages to get something out of it. Just imagine if he actually had the freedom to throw the ball at least twice every conversion and a tailback that averaged more than 1.9 yards per carry!!!

  23. jabba Says:

    I don’t think it’s fair to say that Johnson was invisible last week, like you so eagerly do.
    While watching the game i found he actually showed up quite a lot, flushing Brees out of the pocket and thus forcing bad throws on multiple occasions.
    He may not been have able to record a sack, but neither was GMC, and he wasn’t “invisible”, either, was he now?

  24. Fort Myers Dave Says:

    ddneast said: “I am sure if the Bucs had a DL better at 100 percent than Johnson was at his say 70 percent he would be starting right now don’t u think. Now name one?

    True enough, this illustrates the lack of depth on the Tampa Bay roster on both sides of the ball. If MJ cannot get it done against this rookie its a good bet that one of the objectives over the bye week will be to try and find a replacement though; this defense needs a pass rush or it will be in the record books for all the wrong reasons: points allowed, yards allowed, leads lost, opponents pass completion %, 3rd down conversion rate by the opponent, etc, etc…..

  25. PRBucFan Says:

    35-28 bucs 😀

  26. Teacherman777 Says:

    Sometimes the tough guy play through injuries mentality is BAD!!

    Brian Price was forced back to early. Ruined his career.

    Same thing with countless players.

    If johnson is hurt, I would rather play a healthy DE than a gimp.

    And let MJ heal this week and during the bye week.

    I dont understand why coaches pressure injured players to play!!